Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Best Gift of All...

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! 
  Christmas for the Ferguson's has been going on now for about 12 days....  (Seriously, it is a tad ridiculous!)  Our Christmas was wonderful!  Santa made an early appearance for two extra sweet & special little girls on the 18th & that just started the ball rolling.  We then headed to Missouri where we had 4 separate celebrations, 3 of them with 4 generations present & then 4 inches of snow for a white Christmas!  Sunday night we headed back home to AR for our last celebration with Brett's family & finished out Christmas on a fire truck.  (Not literally, but that celebration is where Aubrielle received her fire truck & where between squeals & giggles she whispered to me that it was, "What she had been dreaming about!"  :)

  I could post a ton of pictures now at this point...but I want to share just one of our family.  I adore my family & we have been blessed beyond measure!  I love our time together & Christmas not only provides that, but adds in an extra spark of joy & magic in my girl's eyes.  It truly warms a mommy's heart & is the best gift of all!  My prayer for 2011 is that we will continue in health, be given more special time & memories together & more deeply reflect Christ in all that we do.

Aubrielle, 3 & Lily, 21months


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

~Tasty Tuesday~

One of my Mom's classics at Christmas time.  You can ask any "Raye" grandchild what Christmas tastes like and we would all say "Cranberry Tea" (and probably cheesy potatoes!).  Not only does is taste amazing but the smells that fill your house as its brewing are to die for!

Cranberry Tea
Boil 1 Gallon of Water
Add 2 Cups Sugar
6 Tea Bags 
Let the tea bags brew for about 6-8 minutes and remove.

Add 3 Cloves & 3 Cinnamon Sticks 
Turn off heat & let sit in pot for 30 minutes.

1 qt Apple Juice
1 qt Cranberry Juice
6 oz Frozen Orange Juice
1 Lg Package Cherry Jello
1/2 Cup Lemon Juice
 Simmer together on low & serve.

Be advised that this makes a lot!  Perfect for a party!

Hope you enjoy!


Monday, December 20, 2010

Santa Success!

Waiting patiently for her turn.

The Sweet Smile of Success! 

This is as close as Lily would get...a sweet wave & a jumbled Merry Christmas!

Maybe next year we will get them both on Santa's lap on the first try...but this year it made for a good laugh & sweet memories!


Friday, December 17, 2010

Hello Santaaaaaah!

Two girls in matching outfits looking cute & ready to meet Santa!  Aubrie has her line rehearsed, "I would like a firetruck please."  Lily, on the other hand,  has no clue what is going on but because big sis is excited she is rolling with it all!  The following pictures show how it all unfolded!

Aubrie has changed her mind & Lily is hysterical!

Lily won't even look & Aubrie is wishing she could muster up the nerve.

"Bye Santa, maybe next year!"

Who needs Santa when this is in the Mall & Papa has quarters!
  Aubrie wants to try again with good Ole Santa so looks like we will be going back tonight!  Lily, however, just told me that she only wants "Papa's slap (lap) no Santa."

Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

~Tasty Tuesday~

The Christmas season is always SO busy!  I cannot believe that we are only 11 days away from the holiday!  If you are like me then you still have things to do & goodies to make.  This recipe is a classic that doesn't take long to make, is easy & always tastes good!  It is easy to keep all the ingredients on hand for when you need another "goodie" to take somewhere.

Puppy Chow
1 Package (6oz) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil 
1/4 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
6 Cups Kellogg's Crisp-X Cereal
2 Cups Powdered Sugar

 1. In a small bowl, mix chocolate & oil.  Melt over a double boiler (or microwave for 1 1/2 minutes) until chocolate is melted.  Stir in peanut butter.  Pour over cereal.
2. Place powdered sugar in zip lock gallon bag.  Add coated cereal & close bag tightly.  Shake bag until coated with sugar.

Refrigerate in airtight container until ready to serve.

Hope you all enjoy & don't get too caught up in the rush to forget the real meaning of Christmas!


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I {heart} Self-Portraits!

Everyone does it.  You are in a spectacular memory making moment & there is no one to snap your pic.  (Or there are people around, but you are just too embarrassed to ask.)  So you snap the self-portrait.  And trust me, it is done by millions.  Even in NYC!  Below you will find the complied pics took by none other than us during our trip to NY.

 I realize that I have "beat the horse to death" on the whole NYC trip.  I promise that this is my last post on it!  It was one of my favorite trips & I really cannot wait until we get to go back one day.  But for now it was a check off the 'ole bucket list!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

~Tasty Tuesday~

Tis The Season!
Christmas is already in full swing at our house!  Our tree has been up for weeks, the outside lights are hung & I have butter coming to room temperature right now as I type!  I love all baking but I especially love Christmas baking!  Maybe its the tree in the background or the non-stop Christmas music that plays whenever I am in the kitchen during the holidays...but I just LOVE it!
Today's recipe comes from a dear friend who lives in Colorado where she shared her recipe at a girlfriend's cookie exchange.  I have made it every year since!

Big Soft Ginger Cookies

Preheat oven to 350.
2 1/4 Cups Flour
2 tsp. Ground Ginger
1 tsp. Baking Soda
3/4 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Ground Cloves
3/4 Cup Butter
1 Cup Sugar
1 Egg
1/4 Cup Molasses
2 Tbs. Sugar (For rolling cookies in before baking.)

In a medium bowl mix flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon & cloves; set aside.  In mixer,  beat butter for 30 seconds on medium speed.  Beat in the 1 cup of sugar, add the egg & molasses.  Beat well.  Add the flour and spice mixture, mix until it comes together.  Shape dough into balls using 1 heaping tsp. of dough.  Roll balls in sugar.  Place dough balls 2 1/2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes until light brown & still puffy.  Cool on sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool.

These are the best ginger cookies I have ever had & they are true to their name; so SOFT!
Hope you all enjoy baking this Christmas season!


Monday, December 6, 2010

Central Park

 A quiet stroll through Central Park with the one you love on a beautiful Sunday morning.  
 Yes, exactly.

It will forever be a favorite memory!


Thursday, December 2, 2010

NYC Night Life

Bryant Park.  (My favorite spot!)

Macy's tree & Empire State Building.

More from Bryant Park.

Times Square.

It really is that overwhelming & electrifying.

Times Square from the Top of Rockefeller.

Empire State Building.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Lady Liberty

It was a glorious day in NYC on the morning we went to see the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island!  After getting the best cup of coffee for $1 at a street stand we ventured via the subway to the financial district.  We ended up getting off the subway a stop or two early in Tribeca to get breakfast (bagels & smears).  We sat on a park bench beside the Hudson River & ate breakfast.  It was probably our favorite spot of our whole trip & we didn't intentionally plan it!

Our breakfast view.

The dock where the Titanic started her voyage.

Leaving Battery Park on the ferry.

The Statue of Liberty.

NYC's Southern skyline.

Ellis Island.

The hall where the immigrants would get registered & wait to see if they were permitted to enter the U.S.

I tend to not be very patriotic but this experience was amazing!  The accounts from the immigrants & seeing the pictures made me very thankful that my family made the voyage across the ocean to freedom!  From here we walked along Wall Street & had lunch next to Ground Zero.  Tomorrow's pictures will be from the city at seriously never sleeps!